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The White Park Cattle

White Park cow and calf, Dinefwr, Carmarthenshire
White Park cow and calf, Dinefwr, Carmarthenshire | © National Trust Images / John Millar

The White Park Cattle at Dinefwr are an ancient rare breed. Warmer weather heralds their return to the historic summer pasture in front of Newton House, along with their new calves.

An Ancient Breed

The majestic White Park has been associated with Dinefwr since the 9th century and is probably the most ancient breed of cattle native to the British Isles. Now a rare breed, the Dinefwr herd plays a crucial role in the White Park’s conservation, as well as conservation grazing on the estate.

The cows are striking in their ancient looks with long white coats, elegant, tipped horns and jet black eyes and noses. In spring their winter coat shedding is helped along by the plucking of hairs by crows, ravens and other birds, who use the soft white hairs to line their nests.

Herd of white park cattle in parkland at Dinefwr in Carmarthenshire, Wales.
Herd of White Park cattle in parkland at Dinefwr in Carmarthenshire, Wales. | © National Trust Images / John Millar

Medieval times

White Park Cattle were highly valued in early medieval times, and it is recorded that fines were paid to the Lords of Dinefwr in these cattle.

Other folklore linked to the White Park Cattle is the legend of the Lady of the Lake and the famous Physicians of Myddfai.

Today, the White Park herd are not only a living link to Welsh heritage and natural history, but also play a vital role in the preservation of this rare breed and conservation on the estate.

The front entrance at Newton House, Dinefwr

Discover more at Dinefwr

Find out when Dinefwr is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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Explore the parkland at Dinefwr 

Take a stroll through Dinefwr Park near Llandeilo, a stunning 800-acre estate where you can spot a variety of wildlife and some of the oldest trees in Britain.

An aerial view over the parkland at Dinefwr, Carmarthenshire

History of Dinefwr 

Reclaimed by the descendants of a powerful Welsh Prince, Dinefwr Park and Newton House were home to the Rhys/Rice family for over 300 years.